Discipline-specific Case Studies in Teaching New Media

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Natural Objects and Gesture Based Interaction: Search for Creativity in Design Education by Asım Evren Yantaç/ code, cartography and relational learning by Luca Carrubba/ Smart Textile as a Context for Art Based Technology and Engineering Education by Daniela Reimann/ Creative Critical Action beyond Economy into "Techno-Ecology" by Jane Crayton
Dates: 
Sunday, 18 September, 2011 - 14:45 - 16:25
Presenters: 
Asım Evren Yantac
Presenters: 
Luca Carrubba
Presenters: 
Daniela Reimann
Presenters: 
Jane Crayton

Natural Objects and Gesture Based Interaction: Search for Creativity in Design Education

by Asım Evren Yantaç

Nowadays ubiquitous computing, wearable electronics and multi touch technologies made “gesture based interaction” one of the core subjects of interactive media design field. Lots of designers and researchers are trying to find creative solutions for gesture based interfaces and most of these are based on real life gestures. This will help the users with predictability, WYSIWYG and lead to more usable interfaces. The problem is that the wide use of these standard gestures will be limiting creativity in interaction design. For this reason in the Interactive Media Design Department in Yildiz Technical University, we have been concentrating on imaginary natural interactions for random natural objects with our students since 2008. We asked the students to imagine how a natural object like an aubergine would react if it encounters an unforeseen action, and they developed the actions of the object. 80 students participated in 2 years time and we realised that this study helped the students understand interactivity in a better way, and design authentic interaction solutions in later semesters.

code, cartography and relational learning

by Luca Carrubba

Can “softwarization” of media process currently underway define a new method of education?

In the encounter between dataflow, live coding and cartography will high light the emergence of a new approach in learning digital art.

The need to manage this wealth of information in always more effective ways have determined the centrality of software in the cultural domain by creating a de facto "data hyper democracy” in which the media disappears and everything is translated into code.

Among the necessary conditions that have made that possible free software, also knows as FLOSS, is one of this.

FLOSS has first made evident the cultural and ethical inherent in the production of software, making of it a political campaign and generating the technical and political context in which different artists, researchers, hackers were able to freely experiment with different degrees of manipulation of digital data. During this experimental season have been developed educational methods (and only after production methods) that have the ability to maintain different levels of abstraction simultaneously: graphical programming languages based on dataflow paradigm.

This approach allows developer to draw the software and then transform the conceptual diagram in code that, in the form of visual blocks are connected to each other through a relational logic. The logic diagram that follows does not distinguish between the physical world and data information and it seems to organize the incoming and outgoing information and process similar to what a mind map does.

It is precisely in the approach to a relational mapping method, where the concepts and actions are correlated with each other in a visual way, just by giving priority to the relations between actors, it's possible to get good results both in terms of accessibility of computer science as of learning skills. Learning skills related to the possibility, entirely contemporary, to better understand the socio/ technological process behind the technology it self. If today digital knowledge is considered of strategic importance for advanced industrial cultures, it may not be considered just as the ability to handle procedures of a given computer program. It should be considered as a process of understanding what goes on behind a computer.

Smart Textile as a Context for Art Based Technology and Engineering Education

by Daniela Reimann

The paper is based on the research project “Artistic Approaches to Engage Girls and Young Women in Technology and Engineering Education at School and University” held at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology’s Institute of Vocational and General Education.[1]

The research approach looks at coupling arts, science, technology and engineering in transdisciplinary education settings. It applies the education-through-arts concept to technology and engineering education at school and university. The paper discusses examples of more playful and artistic approaches introducing textile and wearable interfaces for interdisciplinary media-art-technology education, based on shapable low cost Arduino technology. The project aims to explore the pupils’ image and understanding of technology, their perception and attitudes towards computers. The paper argues that the introduction of artistic processes linked to meaningful contexts developed by the girls themselves can be support key to trigger interest and motivation.

Smart Textile technology used in the project blurrs the boundaries of the school subjects taught separated from each other. Wearable Computing crosses the borders of curricula of subjects such as art, textile, (computer)science, technology and engineering. Furthermore, the shaping of Smart Textile artifacts brings together a variety of activities, such as shaping, programming, designing, experimenting with media and materials in teams based. Textile as media serves as a metaphor for an educational model of creatively discovering computer science and technology embedded in wearables, objects and the environment developed by the pupils themselves.

The project aims to answer the question, why the integration of artistic processes in science and technology is important for future curricula and the rethinking of technology education.

[1] Head of IBP: Prof. Dr. Martin Fischer, the project is realized in collaboration with ZKM Karlsruhe, the Center of Art and Media, department of Museum Communication (Head: Janine Burger) using a software development of the research group “Digital Media in Education” at the Univerisity of Bremen (Prof. Dr. Heidi Schelhowe). The project is applied in 6th grade at the Hebel-Realschule Karlsruhe (secondary school).

Creative Critical Action beyond Economy into "Techno-Ecology"

by Jane Crayton

Creative critical action with STEM-A (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math through Art) is a philosophy which integrates exploration of STEM subjects through art inquiry. This approach to STEM education creates space for the instructor to include ethical, radical and inventive approaches to educating students.

Innovation is the most prized human dexterity, and STEM education is a critical component of societies to produce innovative products. However as global economies emerge in our post-google society, facing human impacted climate change, it is critical that we radically change the face of our education system and eventually our economies, to include a broader scope of STEM innovation. Art and diversity need to be included in STEM education to foster a sustainable community of ethical technologists who create solutions for humans beyond industry.

How does STEM education through art, media and technology defy formal education through DIY, viral and social media? With the exploration of electronic arts, media and sciences, students gain valuable skills for using and working with complex STEM concepts, while integrating ethical, and critical thinking skills. STEM acquired skills through artistic inquiry further the ability of users and creators to make educated decisions about innovative processes, products, or services; created or consumed. Thus the art of “Techno-Ecology” will blossom into another era of radically urban sustainable technology exploration.

STEM-A Example Classes/Workshops

Circuit Bending (remixing, culture jamming, re-use, re-appropriation)

STEM Standards:
Science (chaos theory/anti-theory, sustainability)
Technology (deconstruction of technology, technology ethics)
Engineering (Electronics soldering, multi-meters)
Math (reading and calculating voltage)

Video Remixed – explore the world of video remixing, looping, dj/vj culture, creative critical action and guerrilla art. Create videos that promote ethical dialog on human impacts in the environment.

STEM Standards:
Science (ecological ethics, leave no trace) Colorado [mining and geology] Taos [plastic bag tax, pollution]
Technology (camera, computer hardware, software, media)
Engineering (storyboarding, developing timelines, digital narratives, video installation)
Math (image quality, data storage, lighting)